by Karen Ball
First, here are the answers to last week’s questions:
Name That Tone!
The Boneman’s Daughters–chilling
The Riddlemaster of Hed–fantastical
A Vase of Mistaken Identity–whimsical
Without a Trace–suspensful
Three Weddings & a Giggle—humourous and romantic
Name that Genre!
Sister Chicks Down Under—witty women’s fiction
The Lightkeeper’s Ball—historical romance
The Twelfth Prophecy, A.D. Chronicles—biblical fiction
Okay, now, on to Tip #3 for crafting strong titles. As USA channel puts it, Characters welcome! Ever and always, Keep Your Characters in Mind. Sometimes the best title for a book focuses on the character. But not just on the name, though that can work well. You can also base a title on your character’s:
- Personal struggle
- Conflict with other characters
- Lesson learned
- Physical characteristics
- Occupation or calling
…and so on. Look at all the facets of your character to see if there’s something that would lend itself well to an eye- and imagination-grabbing title. Also, remember that these kinds of titles can often lead to wonderful designs.
Also, remember that your location can be considered a character as well. Certain regions, states, or countries tend to have personalities, so to speak. Build on that for a title that creates the image of your story before the reader has even hit page one.
Some examples of character-based titles:
Magdalene (interesting that they chose Magdalene rather than Mary Magdalene. Used the far more negative/emotional portion of the name for the title)
Here Lies Arthur
Ruby’s Slippers (outstanding cover art enhances the name and tongue-in-cheek connection to Wizard of Oz. See below!)
The Eye of Jade (cover design played off this title beautifully. See below.)
The Bluest Eye
Character’s struggle or “state”
A Bride in the Bargain
Daughter of Liberty
The Duchess & the Dragon (gives you a strong sense of the heroine and hero, right up front)
Sisterchicks in Wooden Shoes (this title uses location as well)
That Certain Spark (the cover art is what makes this title so effective! See cover below.)
Location as a character
What the Bayou Saw
Savannah from Savannah (wonderful mix of name and location)
Guardian of the Flame
The Night Watchman
Any others you can think of to illustrate this tip?